Syria delegates arrive in Saudi ahead of Arab League summit
A Syrian delegation to Saudi Arabia arrived in Jeddah ahead of the Arab League summit set to take place in the city next week.
A Syrian delegation led by Economy Minister Mohammad Samer Khalil landed in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah ahead of the upcoming Arab League Summit, which is set to take place sometime next week, a source told Russian news agency Sputnik on Sunday.
Moreover, the delegation includes Presidential Affairs Minister Mansour Fadlallah Azzam and other Syrian officials and journalists, the source said.
Reportedly, the delegates will be attending preparatory meetings for the Arab League's Economic and Social Council, which is in charge of economic cooperation and integration within the bloc.
The Syrian presidency said Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad received an invitation to next week's Arab summit in Saudi Arabia, the first such invitation since the war on the country broke out.
The Arab League last Sunday welcomed Syria's government back into the bloc.
In a statement, the Syrian presidency announced that Al-Assad received an invitation from Saudi King Salman "to participate in the thirty-second Arab League summit, which will be held in Jeddah on May 19."
The Syrian President considered that the summit "will enhance joint Arab action to achieve the aspirations of the Arab peoples," the statement indicated.
Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Jordan, Nayef bin Bandar Al-Sudairi, delivered the invitation. The last Arab League summit that Al-Assad attended was in 2010 in Libya.
The invitation comes a day after Riyadh and Damascus announced that work would resume at their respective diplomatic missions in Syria and Saudi Arabia, after more than a decade of severed ties.
The Kingdom severed ties with the Syrian government in 2012. However, in April, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with Al-Assad in Damascus on the first such visit since the war broke out.
On the other hand, the United States and Britain said they still opposed relations with the Syrian government but would work with Arab states that are re-establishing relations.
Qatar also opposed Syria rejoining the Arab League and echoed on Sunday Washington's position against normalizing ties with Damascus. But the Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Majed Al-Ansari, said Doha will always support anything that brings about Arab consensus, stressing that the Gulf country will not be an obstacle to that process.
Read more: Syria Arab League readmission is in defiance of US warnings: Bloomberg